A Tribute to the Music and Life of Hazel Dickens

Hazel Dickens PosterOn Monday, May 30th, 7-10:30 pm, a cavalcade of musicians will gather at Banjo Jim’s to pay tribute to the late Hazel Dickens. Led by Danny Weiss and Mary Olive Smith (Reckon So), the house band will include master instrumentalists, Tony Trischka & Barry Mitterhoff as well as major players on the NYC scene, Kenny Kosek, Skip Ward & Trip Henderson.

Hazel Dickens passed away on April 22nd 2011 at the age of 75 and musicians everywhere said goodbye to a pioneer in bluegrass music, the women’s movement and topical songwriting. Many people are familiar with her when in 1976, her voice and songs appeared in the movie Harlan County, USA. Raised in the coal mining country of West Virginia, she moved to Baltimore as a teenager where she met Mike Seeger and then Alice Gerrard. “Hazel and Alice,” as they were known, were a musical duo through 1976. Their release of their first album for Folkways in 1965 broke the gender barrier in Bluegrass. Some of the musicians they influenced to start music careers include Emmy Lou Harris, Alison Krauss and the Judds. When she sang her song “Black Lung” at a rally in Clay County, Kentucky in 1969, she got noticed by the New York Times and Walter Cronkite’s Evening News and cemented her reputation as a composer of political ballads.

She was a major influence on Rounders Records in the 1970’s through her association of co-founder Ken Irwin. Her later years were filled with playing music, receiving awards, recording and performing. She was a major player at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, where she performed the last ten years of her life.

Banjo Jim’s is proud to present a troupe of folk and bluegrass musicians, some of which played with Dickens and all of which appreciate her great contributions to American music. Special guests will include Jan Bell, Michael Daves, Hilary Hawke, Jay Januzzi, Linda King, Jen Larsen, Michal Shapiro, Sheriff Bob, Elena Skye, Diane Stockwell, Liz Tormes, The Whistling Wolves and Gene Yellin.

Please help get the word out about this exciting event and then join us! For more information about  A Tribute to the Music and Life of Hazel Dickens call Ky Hote at 512– 589–8161.